Mobile App Design Best Practices for Functionality


November 16, 2022

Is your mobile app design process helping you create functional apps?

Competition in the market is making it difficult to create stand-out mobile apps. With thousands existing today, new players need to bring something different to the table to stand out.

Hence, many developers will push the boundaries of what they can build – experimenting with features, user flows, layouts, or others to come yield a uniquely functional app. It’s messy and grueling and, ideally, you launch a perfect app at the end of it all.

But in mobile app development, you will fail more than you will succeed, if you don’t follow a few best practices. Such practices that account for everything from user stories and usability to design aesthetics.

In all our years of experimenting with features and forms of mobile apps, we’ve identified a few key practices that ensure a fail-proof app.

Building sophisticated solutions – mobile app design best practices

There’s a lot that goes in between function and form to make an app that’s truly sophisticated. Because of that, the crux of many developers is how they can avoid overthinking and overdoing an app so they develop a truly functional and user-friendly product.

To avoid that trap, it’s best to keep note of a few best practices, and just build on top of them. These tried and tested best practices, we tackle below.

  1. Keep it simple. Users should be able to easily navigate through your app and find what they’re looking for without any confusion or difficulty. Additionally, your app should have a clean and polished look that is visually appealing to users.
  2. User experience is key. All elements of your app should be easy to use and understand, and the overall flow of the app should be logical and cohesive.
  3. Create a large touch area. Users should be able to easily select buttons and links within your app without accidentally tapping on other elements.
  4. Reduce clutter. Keep minimum content on the screen so as not to overwhelm users. This way, they’re focused on the necessary information and can easily find what they’re looking for.
  5. Make it functional. Your app should be able to perform all of the tasks it’s intended to do without any glitches or problems. Additionally, your app should be designed in a way that is scalable and can easily accommodate future updates and additions.
  6. Build with one-handed operation in mind. More and more people are using their mobile devices with one hand, so your app should be designed accordingly. This means that all elements should be easily within reach and that users should be able to perform all tasks with one hand.
  7. Consider multiple platforms. When planning your mobile app, it’s important to consider the various platforms it will be compatible with. Make sure to test your app on all platforms it will be available on to ensure optimal performance.
  8. Make the app fast and responsive. Users expect mobile apps to be quick and responsive, so make sure that your app meets these expectations.
  9. Design for all screen sizes. With the various mobile devices available on the market, it’s important to design your app in a way that is compatible with all screen sizes. This way, users will be able to use your app no matter what type of device they have.
  10. Optimize for the app markets. Make sure that your app is easily discoverable by users by optimizing it for search. This includes using relevant keywords in your app’s title and description as well as incorporating them into the app itself.
  11. Use analytics. Use analytics to track user engagement and behavior within your app. This information can be used to improve the overall design and user experience of your app.
  12. Get feedback. Always get feedback from users during the development process. This way, you can make necessary changes and improvements based on user input.
  13. Only send notifications that are relevant and useful to users. Notifications are a great way to keep users updated on the latest news, offers, and content from your app. But make sure to give users the option to opt out of receiving notifications if they so choose.
  14. Provide transparent permission policies.  Users should be aware of what type of data your app will have access to and how it will be used.
  15. Keep security in mind. Mobile app security should be a top priority when planning and designing your app. Make sure to incorporate various security measures to protect users’ data and privacy.
  16. Localize your app. If you want your app to be successful in other markets, it’s important to localize it. This includes translating the app into different languages as well as adapting it to different cultural norms and customs.

When designed and used correctly, mobile apps can be a great asset for businesses and organizations. They can help boost brand awareness, drive traffic and sales, and improve customer engagement. Mobile apps can also be used to build loyalty among customers and keep them coming back.

Mobile app development may be a complex process, but by keeping these best practices in mind, you can create a successful and user-friendly app. You can also build a highly competitive market. So take the time to plan and design your app carefully, you can create an app that is both user-friendly and functionally sound.

The ideal mobile app development process

Now that we’ve talked about the best practices when it comes to mobile app design, it’s time to take a look at the mobile app development process. This process can vary depending on the size and complexity of your app, but there are some essential steps that all mobile app development projects should follow. The mobile app development process typically includes the following steps:

  1. Ideation and planning. This is the first step in any mobile app development project. During this phase, you’ll come up with an idea for your app and start planning the project. This includes defining your app’s goals, target audience, features, and more.
  2. Research and strategy. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to create, it’s time to do some research and develop a strategy. This includes competitor analysis, market research, and more.
  3. User experience and interface (UX/UI) design. The next step is to design the user experience and interface for your app. This is where you’ll decide how your app will look and feel and how users will interact with it.
  4. Development. After the UX/UI design is complete, it’s time to start building your app. This includes coding, testing, and debugging.
  5. Launch. Once your app is complete, it’s time to launch it on the App Store or Google Play. This is where users will finally be able to download and use your app.
  6. Maintenance and updates. Even after your app is launched, you’ll need to continue working on it. This includes adding new features, fixing bugs, and more.

The mobile app development process may vary for each project, but these are the essential steps that all mobile app development projects should follow.

Take this as a  guide when planning your mobile app development project to ensure that you cover all the bases and create a successful and user-friendly app.

What are the three parts of the process of designing an app?

As mentioned earlier, the mobile app design process can vary. However, there are three essential steps that all mobile app design processes should follow. These are: 

  1. Ideation and planning;
  2. Research and strategy, and;
  3. UX/UI design

These steps will help you come up with an idea for your app, determine what users want and need, and create a user-friendly interface. Without these steps, you may create an app that is difficult to use or that is not successful in the mobile app market. 

What are the four design areas to build a successful mobile app?

There are four key areas that you need to focus on when designing your mobile app. These are:

  • user experience;
  • user interface; 
  • branding, and;
  • engagement.

These areas are essential to creating a successful mobile app. Without a good user experience, users will not want to use your app. Without a good user interface, users will find it difficult to use your app. Without branding, your app will not be recognizable. And without engagement, users will quickly lose interest in your app.

Key takeaways

When it comes to mobile app web design, there’s no doubt that there is continuous learning.  You can always find new tips, tricks, and techniques to improve your mobile app design skills. 

However, there are some mobile app design best practices that always remain the same. So just make sure that you  keep these mobile app design tips in mind when you’re designing your next mobile app:

  • Make sure to do your research before starting the design process. This includes competitor analysis, market research, and more. It’s important that you’re aware of the current mobile app market and what users are looking for.
  • Keep the user experience in mind at all times. The user experience is the most important part of mobile app design. If users don’t have a good experience using your app, they will not continue to use it.
  • Think outside of the box. It may sound cliche but it’s true. In mobile app design, you need to be creative and think outside of the box to create an app that is truly unique. After all, there are millions of mobile apps out there so you need to make sure that yours stands out.

What best practices do you think we should include in this list? Let us know on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn. We’d love to learn from your best practices as well.

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